Dana White Promises to Leave Apex After UFC St. Louis Success

The UFC Apex has become a familiar sight in the fight world, especially since the pandemic hit. It’s nestled right in the heart of Las Vegas, a city that knows a thing or two about entertainment. But, let’s be real, the vibe at the Apex can’t quite match the electric atmosphere of a packed arena in a bustling city. Take UFC on ESPN 56 in St. Louis, for example. That night was something else.

Dana White, the big boss at UFC, couldn’t stop talking about the event. He mentioned a record-breaking gate of $2.47 million. That’s no small change, folks. It beat the previous record from a show in Austin, Texas. And the crowd? They were on fire, especially when local heroes like Joaquin Buckley, Sean Woodson, and Charles Johnson stepped into the octagon.

White shared at the press conference, “It felt like a pay-per-view event.” He reminisced about the early days when fights were mostly in big cities like Vegas or Atlantic City. UFC’s strategy has changed over the years, aiming to bring the thrill of MMA to every corner of the globe. “The sport reaches new heights when we do this,” he added, hinting at a return to touring various cities.

Lately, there’s been some grumbling from fans and fighters alike. They’re getting a bit tired of the constant Apex events. During a financial call, Andrew Schleimer of TKO Group Holdings, UFC’s parent company, hinted that Apex events are here to stay. They’re just more budget-friendly.

Schleimer explained, “We’ve been branching out post-COVID, but the Apex events are still in the mix.” He talked about balancing growth with maintaining profits. “It’s all about finding the right mix,” he said, noting that events at the Apex are cheaper to run.

As of now, in 2024, UFC has hosted 16 events, with half at the Apex and the other half in various locations, drawing large crowds. White seems keen on changing that balance, favoring more road shows. “We’ve got to move beyond the Apex,” he said, signaling a push for more events in different cities this year. “We’re on it,” he assured.

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